A Potential Renewed Use of Very Heavy Ions for Therapy: Neon Minibeam Radiation Therapy
(1) Background: among all types of radiation, very heavy ions, such as Neon (Ne) or Argon (Ar), are the optimum candidates for hypoxic tumor treatments due to their reduced oxygen enhancement effect. However, their pioneering clinical use in the 1970s was halted due to severe side effects. The aim of this work was to provide a first proof that the combination of very heavy ions with minibeam radiation therapy leads to a minimization of toxicities and, thus, opening the door for a renewed use of heavy ions for therapy; (2) Methods: mouse legs were irradiated with either Ne MBRT or Ne broad beams at the same average dose. Skin toxicity was scored for a period of four weeks. Histopathology evaluations were carried out at the end of the study; (3) Results: a significant difference in toxicity was observed between the two irradiated groups. While severe da-mage, including necrosis, was observed in the broad beam group, only light to mild erythema was present in the MBRT group; (4) Conclusion: Ne MBRT is significantly better tolerated than conventional broad beam irradiations.